This is an “exposure blend” photography. Even if I’m not a fan of extreme computer photo enhancement I must to say that the results you can obtain with this manipulation are usefull to get details from under exposed and over exposed parts from a subject. Exposure blending is a “hdr” like process which can be done with a script/plugin for the Gimp that can be found at the following address : http://tir.astro.utoledo.edu/jdsmith/exposure_blend.php . Other methods exists but this script (or rather plugin) works very well, allows some settings and is very easy to use. Plus, it’s free like the great program it is made for.
I usually don’t like much hdr photographs because most of the time the result is kinda unreal. Even the human eye can’t see the color range resulting from an hdr photograph in the real scene the photograph was taken.
To make a long story short, this script assembles three photographs you have taken with three different exposures. In my case with the E-3 the exposures (0EV, -1EV, +1EV) are the result of three different shutter speeds. This is done by using the bracketing function . Of course you can set the different exposures manually and take the three shots one after one, thus keeping the same shutter speed. However, there are some risks by doing so :
1 – you may eventually move your camera, even on a tripod if this one is not on a stable place or if the tripod ball head is not well locked. The three shots must be perfectly superposed or the blending process will result in a picture with “ghosting” effects. Needless to say that you cannot shoot with handheld camera. A tripod is the indispensable tool for this kind of photograph.
2 – depending on your subject, moving elements can occur within the time you set the exposures manually. Leafs on trees moving with the wind, pedestrians, dogs, cars, ufos, dinausors… Well, I agree that the last ones can be very interesting photography subjects 🙂
Regarding these two points, you can easily understand the advantage of taking the three photographs in the shortest time possible, by using the bracketing which is available on almost all entry level dSLR cameras. The shots are done in a fraction of second.
If you find this post useful and/or have any comment, please let me know. I also would be pleased to see your photographs using this technic or similar ones.
Coming soon : panoramic photography.
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